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It is high, it is far, it is a single

John Sterling’s call of a “STANTONIAN HOME RUN!” that was really just a single was the best moment of the AL Wild Card game

October 06, 2021

One of two 2021 MLB Wild Card games is in the books, and the Boston Red Sox are moving on. On a chilly October evening at Fenway Park, the Sox led wire to wire over the dreaded New York Yankees, who could barely tie their shoes, let alone play baseball. $325-million-dollar man Gerrit Cole struggled for grip, and was pulled in the third inning, one of the shortest starts of his career. In the sixth inning, with the game still in reach at 3-1, third-base coach Phil Nevin sent Aaron Judge home after one of several long Stanton singles off the Monstah, only to watch him be thrown out by a country mile. It was perhaps the last comedy of errors manager Aaron Boone will ever preside over in the Bronx, but the punchline of the evening belonged to legendary Yankees broadcaster John Sterling, who set the tone early when he issued this epic home run call in the first inning.

The only problem? It wasn’t a home run.

That is some all-time sauce to put on a single. “IT IS HIGH, IT IS FAR, IT IS GONEEEE, OUT OF THE BALLPARK,” Sterling explodes, aping his trademark home run call as Stanton’s line drive clearly caroms back into the ballpark. “A STAN-TONIAN HOME RUN,” he croons on, completely unaware that Stanton has just pulled into first. At this point, however, Sterling begins to sense that things may not have happened quite the way he thought they did. There’s a beat. “Now what did I do wrong?” he stammers. “What did I see wrong?”

Well, pretty much everything John.

Now, in Sterling’s defense, Stanton’s first-inning blast looked like a surefire homer off the bat. Even Stanton thought so, taking a full 14.5 seconds to get first base. Also, Mr. Sterling is 83 years old. If we’re able to do half of what Sterling does on a daily basis when we’re 83, we’ll be just as shocked as he was learning that Stanton’s smack had stayed inside Fenway Park. Still though, as far as summaries of the Yankees (brief) 2021 postseason go, you won’t find a funnier—or more fitting—one than this.